Panel Discussion: "Education and Liberation: Back-to-School Edition"

Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
William Ayers, David Stovall, Brandon Johnson, Jennifer Johnson, Elizabeth Todd-Breland, and Monique Redeaux-Smith

Join us for a panel discussion with William Ayers, David Stovall, Brandon Johnson, Jennifer Johnson, Elizabeth Todd-Breland, and Monique Redeaux-Smith in celebration of the publication of Ayers's About Becoming a Teacher.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: Education activist William Ayers invites new and prospective teachers to consider the deepest dimensions of a life in teaching. Should I become a teacher? How can I get to know my students? What commitments come with me into the classroom? How do I develop my unique teaching signature? In his new book, About Becoming A Teacher, Ayers muses on 10 such questions (and a little more) to shape and structure an indispensable guide that features hands-on advice and concrete examples of classroom practice, including curriculum-making, building relationships with students and parents, fostering an effective learning environment, and teaching toward freedom. This brilliant and concise text offers a conception of teaching as both practical art and essentially ethical practice.

About William Ayers: William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), education and social justice activist, and bestselling author such books as Teaching the Taboo: Courage and Imagination in the Classroom (with Rick Ayers), To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, Third Edition, as well as the memoirs Fugitive Days and Public Enemy.

About David Stovall: David Stovall, Ph.D. is Professor of African-American Studies and Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).  His scholarship investigates three areas 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) the relationship between housing and education, and 3) the intersection of race, place and school. In the attempt to bring theory to action, he works with community organizations and schools to develop curriculum that address issues of equity and justice.  His work led him to become a member of the design team for the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice (SOJO), which opened in the Fall of 2005. Furthering his work with communities, students, and teachers, his work manifests itself in his involvement with the Peoples Education Movement, a collection of classroom teachers, community members, students and university professors in Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area who engage in collaborative community projects centered in creating relevant curriculum.  In addition to his duties and responsibilities as a professor at UIC, he also served as a volunteer social studies teacher at the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice from 2005-2018.

About Jennifer JohnsonJennifer Johnson taught high school history in Chicago Public Schools for ten years before joining the staff of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) in 2013.  She has a BS from Northwestern University in Secondary Education and an MA from Northeastern Illinois University in Community and Teacher Leaders. She is currently the CTU Chief of Staff and believes that teacher union activism for public schools and the teaching profession is part of a larger struggle for social and racial justice, which connects educators with students, parents, and communities. 

About Elizabeth Todd-Breland: Elizabeth Todd-Breland is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research and teaching focus on U.S. urban history, African American history, and the history of education. Her book, A Political Education: Black Politics and Education Reform in Chicago Since the 1960s, analyzes transformations in Black politics, shifts in modes of education organizing, and the racial politics of education reform from the 1960s to the present. She also organizes professional development workshops and develops curricula on African American history, urban education, and racial equity.

About Monique Redeaux-SmithDr. Monique Redeaux-Smith is a Chicago Public School teacher currently on leave. She taught middle school Social Studies for over ten years on the South and West sides of Chicago in the North Lawndale and Chicago Lawn communities. In 2011, while working as a full-time teacher, Monique received her doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Educational Policy Studies in Urban Education. Monique transitioned from the classroom in December 2016 and currently works for the Illinois Federation of Teachers as a Union Professional Issues Director. In her current position, Monique continues her work as a youth, community and union activist by advocating for policies and practices that will improve the educational opportunities and life outcomes of people of color.

About Brandon Johnson: Brandon taught social studies and reading in Chicago Public Schools at Jenner Academy Elementary and Westinghouse College Prep, where his passion and commitment to social and economic justice peaked. In 2011 Brandon joined the resurgent Chicago Teachers Union as an organizer, where he helped to organize the monumental 2012 CTU strike and fought against the onslaught of closings and privatization in Black and Latinx schools and led field campaigns that forced an historic mayoral runoff and 18 aldermanic runoffs in the city of Chicago. Most recently, Brandon has coordinated coalition campaigns with parent and community organizations to pass state legislation for an elected representative school board, stronger oversight of private charter operators, restoring collective bargaining rights for teachers and an elimination of tax breaks and slush funds for the 1%. Brandon recently ran for public office and won on a dynamic platform that included expanding public accommodations, protecting workers’ rights and demanding the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes; he is the Cook County Commissioner of the 1st District. As part of his fight, he hosts Sunday Mornings with Brandon Johnson on WCPT 820AM Progressive Talk Radio from 9:00 AM-10:00 AM.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637